Heading northbound on the Stuart highway I stop in to Aileron to view the two large aboriginal sculptures. These are known as ‘Anmatjere Man’ and ‘Anmatjere women and child’. They are very impressive for their size and level of detail. Didn’t stay long but enough to grab some pics then hit the highway looking for a place to sleep.
Ended up staying at the Ti-tree roadhouse arriving on dusk. Unfortunately despite 8 months on the road travelling through some rugged remote country and weaving my way through peak hour traffic in the capital cities without incident, I finally came undone and reversed into a tree in the campground. I thankfully hit it with my rear bumperette so no body damage was sustained, however I bent the driver’s side rear chassis cross member in a couple centimetres. Nothing that affects the structural integrity thankfully. It just doesn’t look good though for symmetry’s sake. Not too bad for 9 years of ownership though.
Next day I continued on to Devils Marbles / Karlu Karlu conservation reserve. Nothing new here that I haven’t seen before. A short 500m track around the marbles and a hut with free wifi are pretty much it. Some campgrounds are also nearby.
A little further a sign pointed off to a tree the explorer John Stuart had emblazoned a big “S” into during his expedition northward around 1862. Impressive it has lasted all these years. From memory this was near Daly Waters.
I make it to Mataranka Springs and go for a dip. These like many in the area are spring fed which means the water is high in dissolved minerals, hence the crazy aqua colour of the water. Absolutely refreshing. Saw a large python nearby at a creek. Plenty of bats were roosting in the area.
Further up the highway was Bitter Springs. Also a beautiful spot for a swim so off came the clothes again for another dip. Once I get further northward swimming will be a luxury due to plenty of saltwater crocodiles.
Katherine was a small town when I reached it. The main streets can be driven in 2 minutes. I spent about a week there as I had work to do online. Took a day out to Katherine Gorge.
Also explored the Katherine Museum. Some very interesting info there. Katherine was bombed by the Japanese during WW2 and had also been hit by a large flood in 1998 so there was some good info on those events.
Katherine also has its own Springs where I went again for a swim. Popular with the locals. I went down there to read a book one afternoon to escape the heat and had a fat aboriginal women proposition me for sex for 10 minutes begging me to join her for a “swim”. That pretty much ruined my experience of the place and I didn’t go back.
The town library where I spent 3 days was wonderful, quiet and air conditioned so I enjoyed my time there to study before walking outside and being blasted by the furnace temperatures of Katherine during the build up to the wet. Nights were so hot I now open the rear door and sleep without any sheets, still dripping with sweat.
Many of the tourist attractions in town had shut for the season but I found TopDidj Aboriginal Cultural Experience open. It was worth the $70. I got to draw my own Aboriginal painting, I made fire with sticks using my own hands and threw some spears poorly at a cardboard Kangaroo. All good fun. Also held a baby kangaroo as the owners also look after injured wildlife.
I took 2 nights away to Flora River Nature Park nearby which was wonderful.